It was a Saturday morning in September. I was cleaning the shelter runs when one of the local police officers stopped down to advise me that a jogger had been bitten by a dog. He said the jogger described the dog as a "pitbull" type. The jogger did not know who might own the dog. The officer and I went to the location of the incident, and searched for the dog. At first we did not see the dog, but after about 10 minutes we saw a dog standing loose about 200 feet away from us. Unsure of the dogs temperament, I had my snare pole out. The dog ran to us, but did not attack. I put the snare around the dog and guided her into my vehicle. The "so called" pitbull was in reality a brindle Boxer. When I arrived back at the shelter, I took her out on a leash. I knew that this dog was not aggressive. I placed her ad under the "Lost and Found" section of the paper and waited for an owner to call. The jogger had come down to identify this as the dog who had bitten her. About 3 days after the ad had run, her owner called. I explained the circumstances under which the dog had been impounded. I explained that under State law, that because the dog had been off of her property when the bite occured, that she would have to finish out her quarantine either at the shelter or he could move her to a private kennel or vet hospital. He chose to leave her with us. The day before the quarantine was up, the owner called back. He stated that he did not want the dog back. His wife had left him, the kids, and the dog. He said that the dog was really his wife's pet and that he wanted nothing to do with it. I explained to the gentleman that because the dog had bitten a person, that I could not adopt her out to a new home. He did not care what became of the dog. I never spoke to him again. I sent a certified letter to this ( dare I say ) person outlining that the dog would be euthanized at the end of 2 weeks if he did not notify us. The letter was signed for, but he never called. The only option that I had was to adopt this wonderful Boxer. She was not at all aggressive. She was only protecting her property when she went after the jogger. The blame lies solely with the original owner. Boxers should never be allowed to roam loose. No dog, for that matter, should be allowed to roam. Ever! I had been doing some obedience work with this dog over the waiting time, and she learned very quickly. I renamed the dog "Denver". I had just attented a national animal control convention out in Denver, and she came into the shelter just a few weeks after I came back. This was the only dog whose background I knew. I won't even mention what her original name was because it was horrible. At least for a Boxer! Denver was a great dog. She came to the nursing home with me, rode very nicely in the car with me, and was a great friend for my then 4 year old son. Her only problem was that she was very dog aggressive. She wouldn't get along with my female Berner, my male Borzoi, or my male Akita. She fought, they all backed down. I would have hated to have seen what would have happened to her if the Akita had chosen to fight back. Denver died 3 years after I adopted her. She was 9 years old at the time. She had contracted Lyme disease. I was told that it was the "Bute" that the vet put her on that eventually caused her to have liver damage and then kidney failure. She spent the last 2 weeks of her life at the vets. They did all the tests and tried everything to save her. I went to visit her everyday during and after work. The day that I signed the papers to have her put to sleep was the worst. Those of you that have gone through this, know what I mean. Telling my son was the 2nd hardest part. He broke down in tears and cried. Denver meant that much to him. At night, when he is afraid to go to sleep, I tell him that Denver is watching over him and that she would never let anything bad happen to him while he sleeps. It works every time!
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